Sunday, November 19, 2017

3 family photos from March 1960

So many family snapshots that still need sorting. So little time...

Howard Horsey "Ted" Adams (1892-1985) in the master bedroom of the house on Oak Crest Lane in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. To his left is the small bathroom that later was remodeled and became the "pink and black" bathroom. Directly behind him is one of the room's two closets. To his right, the alcove contains a dresser that remained entrenched there until late 2014 or early 2015, when it went to auction.

Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988) in the same master bedroom at Oak Crest Lane. She's in the other side of the room, near the window that faces out into the backyard. The room layout eventually "flipped" and, during most of my lifetime, the bed was up against the wall to Greta's right and a bureau and mirror were located against the wall where the bed is in this photo. I don't believe we still have any of the pieces of furniture shown here.

Mary Margaret Ingham Otto (1948-2017) relaxing with unknown (to me) cat in, I believe, my grandmother's house in Rose Valley. It's not the Oak Crest Lane house, because that house didn't have those kind of big cast-iron radiators. The multi-colored blanket to the right is still in the family, at my sister's house.

Vintage "Radio Recipes of the Month" from Texas A&I

As I was bumbling around yesterday morning, juggling cartographers and quickies and airline stewardess outfits, I noticed, with some alarm, that the last official "Recipes" post on Papergreat was on November 26, 2016. A whole cycle of Christmas, New Year's, Easter, summer cookout and picnic season and Halloween has zipped right on by without any culinary-tip contributions from this blog!

This caused me to exclaim to the Twitterverse:

(Note: There are only about 120,000 Google results for "Holy Stromboli," which seems low.)

And so here we are. Today, we have an undated 8½-by-11 sheet of paper that is covered, front and back, with recipes from the Texas A&I College "Classroom of the Air." Texas College of Arts and Industries was the official name, from 1929 to 1967, of what is now Texas A&M University–Kingsville. So it makes plenty of sense to have this in the family papers, as Mom was born in Kingsville, Texas, in 1948 and the family lived there for a number of years.

So I would guess this piece of ephemera dates to sometime between 1946 and 1950. According to "Recipes of the Month," the "Classroom of the Air" was broadcast on KWBU three mornings a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. (KWBU is now an NPR affiliate based in Waco, Texas.) The show was sponsored by the Houston Natural Gas Corporation, which was acquired in the mid 1980s by InterNorth, which later renamed itself Enron.

These recipes are all from a week in May. They include custard, cucumber mustard pickles, gingerbread cupcakes with apricot topping, piquant potatoes, party punch (non-alcoholic), "one-dish meal," chocolate cake with fluffy seven-minute frosting, ham cornettes, Harvard beets with raisins, "meat balls," and savory cabbage.

Here are a couple of the recipes, for your reading or cooking pleasure:

Gingerbread Cupcakes
with Apricot Topping

  • 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. light molasses
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. soda
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t. ginger
Pour water over shortening; blend well. Add molasses and egg. Add flour sifted with salt, soda, and spices. Fill greased cupcake pans two-thirds full. Bake in moderate oven (350° F.) 25 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes. Remove cone-shaped piece from center of each cake. Fill with apricot filling. Replace cone.

Apricot filling: Mix 2 T. sugar, 3 T. flour, and dash of salt. Add 2/3 c. cooked, sieved apricot pulp. Cook over low heat until thick and smooth. Add 1 T. lemon juice; chill. Fold in 1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped. (Note: Evaporated milk, scalded and chilled, whips well.)

One-Dish Meal
  • 1/2 lb. ground meat
  • 1 No. 1 can corn
  • 1/2 lb. egg noodles
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 No. 1 can tomato soup
  • 2 T. margarine
Boil noodles until tender. Drain. Melt butter; add ground meat, green pepper, and onion cut fine. Brown. In a buttered baking dish, add layer of noodles, meat, and corn, until all are used. Season well. Add tomato soup and bake 1/2 hour at 350° F. Serves 6.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

1974 magazine advertisement for then-Soviet airline Aeroflot

I had to change gears on this morning's post when I realized that my first choice for a "quickie" involved what appears to be the signature of a notable Civil War cartographer. So that one is going to need some more research.

Instead, here's the advertisement from the back cover of the December 1974 issue of Sputnik, which was essentially the Soviet Union's version of Reader's Digest and was primarily intended for Western readers.1 The advertisement touts Aeroflot, the oldest and biggest airline in the Soviet Union/Russian Federation.

This is a bit of a simplification, but what become Aeroflot was "founded" in 1923 as Dobrolyot, which was the civil division of Lenin's Soviet aviation efforts. In 1932, Dobrolyot and all civil aviation were consolidated into Aeroflot, a state-run enterprise that is now, in the Russian Federation era, 51 percent state-owned and otherwise partially privatized. (There will be a quiz on this Monday.)

Here is the advertising text that surrounds the Soviet stewardess in her — fuschia? magenta? crimson? amaranth? ruby? — outfit:

Transit through the USSR is the shortest and most convenient way from Europe to Japan, the countries of East and South-East Asian, and the Middle East.

AEROFLOT has direct flights to and from the capitals and other big cities in more than 60 countries.

AEROFLOT can fly you from London, Paris or Copenhagen to Tokyo with a single stop in Moscow.

Soviet air-liners IL-62, TU-154, TU-134 — the best of the Soviet civil aviation — have a world reputation for speed and comfort.2

AEROFLOT is always at your service.

1. I'll be writing more about this issue of Sputnik in the near future.
2. According to Wikipedia, the TU-154 and T-134 can be "operated from unpaved airports."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

1920s postcards: A walkable street and an adventurous path

Here are two old postcards that were mailed way back in the 1920s...

  • Caption on front: Bruges, Eglise St. Jacques [St. James's Church]
  • Postmark: August 26, 1926 [indicated as "26 VIII" on the postmark]
  • Stamp: Blue, 75-centime Louis Pasteur, issued by France in 1924
  • Sent from: Paris, France
  • Sent to: Media, Pennsylvania
  • Message: "Aug. 26. Paris. Aunt Dora and I have just gotten back from a trip up in Belgium. I enjoyed seeing the Bruges more than any place we've been. Most of the house are built in the old Flemish architecture and there are lot of canals [thru?] the city. Love Louise."

  • Caption on front: The Trail and Cold River, Mohawk Trail, Mass.
  • Postmark: July 30, 1922
  • Stamp: Green 1-cent George Washington stamp, issued in 1917
  • Sent from: Pittsfield, Massachusetts
  • Sent to: Media, Pennsylvania (different addressee than first postcard, though)
  • Message: "270 miles first day. Sunday 7 A.M. Dear Mr. Fronefield: Arrived here in Pittsfield Saturday evening 7:45. Raymond saw Harry Barton in an automobile along the curb, as we entered the town but we did not stop. Perfectly wonderful trip. All happy. Sincerely, Margaret.

1912 letter to my great-great-grandfather from Bessie T. Capen

This serves as a companion post to February's "1912 softball team at Miss Capen's School for Girls." Miss Capen's School was a Massachusetts preparatory school, run by Bessie T. Capen, that was connected with Smith College. It was founded in the second half of the 19th century and closed in 1920.

My great-grandmother, then Greta Miriam Chandler, attended the school for a year or so. Featured today is a letter that Bessie herself wrote to my great-great-grandfather, Lilburn Chandler, in 1912. Here is a full transcription of the note, which takes up the front and back of a small piece of Capen House letterhead:
Mr. Lilburn Chandler
601 Equitable Bldg.
Wilmington, Delaware

My dear Mr. Chandler,
I have your letter in regard to Greta's studies this year. I think it is best for her to take hold of practical work, like the Domestic Science and Sewing.

We have a good two years course in Domestic Science, with a year of elementary and a year of advanced work.

With kindest regards to Greta — and hoping to see her on the nineteenth.

I am very truly yours,
Bessie T. Capen
Sept. 7, 1912
If you have read some of the previous posts about my great-grandmother, you will surely know that Domestic Science never became any sort of fit for her, which makes this all the more amusing. It wasn't that long after this letter that she met my great-grandfather.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1907 book cover: "Under the Ocean to the South Pole"

  • Title: Under the Ocean to the South Pole
  • Subtitle: The Strange Cruise of the Submarine Wonder
  • Author: "Roy Rockwood" (pseudonym used by Howard Garis for the Stratemeyer Syndicate)
  • Publisher: Cupples & Leon Co.
  • Year: 1907
  • Pages: 248
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First sentence: "Hand me that wrench, Mark," called Professor Amos Henderson to a boy who stood near some complicated machinery over which the old man was working.
  • Last sentence: "We shall see," said Mr. Henderson with a twinkle in his eyes.
  • Random sentence from the middle: For a while the struggle between the force of man represented by the engine, and the power of nature, embodied in the whirlpool, seemed equal.
  • Previous book in this series by "Rockwood": Through the Air to the North Pole, or The Wonderful Cruise of the Electric Monarch
  • Notes about the story: Professor Henderson is described as being 65 years old and possessing of a "fund of knowledge." He companions are Mark Sampson, Jack Darrow and — my great apologies — "the colored man, Washington White." ... The name of the submarine is the Porpoise, and it is described as being eighty feet long and, at the widest point, twenty feet in diameter. It was powered in this way: "The engine was a turbine, and steam was generated from heat furnished by the burning of a powerful gas, manufactured from sea water and chemicals. So there was no need to carry a supply of coal on the ship." ... During a shark battle, the sharks are described as having "horrible eyes, and big mouths with rows of cruel teeth, striking terror to the hearts of all." I think Quint would approve of that description. ... At the end of the book, there seems to be a setup for exploration of a "strange island with a big hole in the middle that seems to lead to the centre of the earth." Professor Henderson plans to explore it while traveling in a balloon. That Verne-esque adventure ended up being Book #3 in The Great Marvel Series, which also included trips to Mars and moon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A whole bunch of Edward Gorey

I have written about Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000) — or, more specifically, his artwork — a couple of brief times here on Papergreat.1 But I never really knew much about Gorey himself. That changed over the past few weeks.

First, I listened to the excellent Stuffed You Missed in History Class podcast about Gorey's life, which was an eye-opener and really piqued my curiosity. I didn't know, for example, that Gorey obsessively attended all of the performances of the New York City Ballet during the many years George Balanchine was its primary choreographer.

And, much to my shame, I think, I did not know that Gorey was the creative force — his stamp is obvious — behind the 1977 Broadway revival of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I knew the Broadway play had been a launching pad for 1979's film version of Dracula, starring Frank Langella. But the Langella play and Langella film were very different; on Broadway, it was truly all Gorey's vision, and he won a Tony for costume design.

The image at the top of this post is from the paper-cutouts toy theater that is based on Gorey's Dracula and remains for sale today.

After listening to the podcast, I continued to bump into new things about Gorey on social media during the post-Halloween season. Here are a couple of them:

(Note: I'm going to repeat those two images at the bottom of the post, in non-embedded versions, for archival purposes. Otherwise, they won't appear in the book version(s) of Papergreat.)

Cats! Books! Beautiful old desks! Piles of stuff! More books! More cats! What's not to love about all this. I think I want be be Edward Gorey.

So, is your interest piqued now, too? If so, here are some websites where you can explore more about Gorey...

1. See these posts:

Images of Edward Gorey

Solve air pollution with volcanoes?

This is a portion of an advertisement from M.R.S. Sunshine Enterprises, Inc., that's featured on Page 70 of Dragon magazine #62 (June 1982).

The ad copy touts Helenite, artificial glass that is "fused volcanic rock dust from Mount St. Helens [which erupted two years earlier] and [is] marketed as a gemstone," according to Wikipedia.

The copy itself calls Helenites the "newest gem on Earth," as created by "Earthman." Which is a fancy way of admitting that it's a manmade stone. I found about 500 pieces of Helenite for sale on eBay this morning, with prices ranging from $10 to $460, though the higher-end pieces are set in silver. There was also a 10-pound hunk of Helenite for the Buy It Now price of $1,499.99.

This 1982 advertisement is pitching a special piece of jewelry — a Helenite-studded dragon. The creative but confusing ad copy attempts to tie together volcanoes, dragons, pollution and possibly climate change:
Released by the Volcanic Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, whose GOAL is to burn up the pollution threatening Earth's atmosphere. Cast in Solid Sterling Silver body and wings, and copper fire set with 3 Helenites spewing forth from its mouth!

The jewelry was designed by Monica Roi Saxon and offered by the aforementioned M.R.S. Sunshine Enterprises of Delhi, New York. I can't find much of what became of either the artist or the company. And I wonder how many of these Helenite dragons they sold, given the 1982 price of $110, which would be about $277 today.